Despite what you've heard, you don't NEED to eat fruits and vegetables to stay healthy -- and some of them are outright bad for you.

Want to know what's inside an orange, apple or grape? Sugar! And not much else -- even the famous antioxidants in grapes and apples are concentrated in the skin, not the wet sacks of sugar inside.

But berries are different. Berries do have natural sugars, but they're also loaded with incredible nutrients, including some you won't get anywhere else. And now, a new analysis shows why you don't need drugs to protect your brain from the ravages of aging -- just a handful of berries.

Researchers looked at studies on just about every level -- human, animal, and cellular -- and found not the usual weak "association" between a food and a benefit I'm always warning about it.

Instead, they found actual, specific benefits -- especially in the brain.

In this case, they say the nutrients in berries enhance neuron communication, which in turn can not only help keep your mind sharp -- it can help keep you steady on your feet, too.

One study even finds that berries can take over when your own body falls short.

Over the years, we lose the ability to clean the trash out of our brains -- and I don't mean stray thoughts (although that can happen, too). No, in this case, cells called microglia that normally clean up the debris of aging start to peter out.

But the polyphenols in berries can wake them up again and get them back on the job -- helping to keep your brain cells neat and tidy.

These same nutrients also prevent inflammation. Throw in the fact that they taste great, and you've got my permission to eat berries every day.